The SMS alert service has been launched by the government for Hajj pilgrims. It will provide the pilgrims with real-time information and also verify the private Hajj tour agencies.
The initiative was announced by the Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri. He was speaking at an event that was organized by the Hajj Organisers Association of Pakistan (HOAP) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Furthermore, the SMS service 8331 will also identify the fraudsters who claim that they are Hajj tour operators. According to the minister this new service will ensure that hoaxes in the name of Hajj pilgrimage are prevented.
He further revealed that the private tour operators can be confirmed through mobile phone messaging. Pir Noorul Haq Qadri said that this initiative will allow the people to distinguish between the sub-agents, unregistered, and non-quota tour operators via the SMS service.
184,210 pilgrims will perform Hajj. Out of these 107,526 will perform Hajj under the government scheme while 71,684 will perform Hajj under the private tour operators. There was a significant drop in Hajj applications this year primarily due to the high cost of the Hajj this year.